An interview with Oriol Egea, Solutions Architect & Developer at VSN

We interviewed in detail the developer of, among others, VSN’s BMS solution, VSNCrea, after more than five years of work, experience and constant evolution.

You started in Support, but soon began to develop internal functionalities in the company’s systems. What functions do you carry out today? How was your professional journey?

I started at VSN in 2014 helping to perform maintenance operations at the Support Department. However, as soon as I asked the organization if I could help in any aspect related to software development, I was immediately given an affirmative answer and started working on the internal application stack and the corporate website.

It was a very rewarding time, not only because of the kind of challenges in whose solutions I had the opportunity to participate, but also because of my teammates, whose human and professional quality has always been the engine of any achieved goal or milestone, and with whom I have always shared views, experiences and knowledge in a very open way.

Later, in 2018, I was given the opportunity to lead the development of the company’s new BMS solution, VSNCrea.  Without a doubt, it has been a fantastic experience in all aspects, whether it is for the opportunity to organize and manage an agile, self-organized and jointly responsible development team, for devising and deploying a scalable, robust, and SaaS-compatible architecture, or for participating in the conception and development of the product and ensuring that we provide our clients with the value they need. All these processes have given me a lot at a personal and professional level.

You are now in charge of work teams. What do you think is more important when it comes to managing and collaborating in professional groups?

I think it is difficult to highlight a single point in this context. At VSN we try to permeate ourselves with different values: internal and external transparency, focus on clear and concise objectives, respect for each person, element and process, adaptation to change and periodic self-inspection are some of the values we try to internalize and that are part of our daily work.

However, if there is something that VSN carries in its DNA and that can be easily seen in the results, it is the capacity of each team member to be not only knowledgeable but also to participate in the conception of the solutions from the beginning to the end. Working in multidisciplinary teams and listening to the points of view of people whose areas of work belong to different branches is highly beneficial and rewarding, and has an enormous impact on the final result, which must provide the value that the client needs, and guarantee end-user satisfaction.

If I had to condense it in a single sentence, it would be that at VSN we form teams of missionaries with a lot of faith in what we do, and not teams of mercenaries destined to complete specific tasks in a systematic way.

You are the main developer of VSN’s BMS system, VSNCrea. What can you tell us about its creation and development?

We started its development for several reasons, starting with the key role that a BMS system plays in any organization that intends to manage, distribute and monetize content, be it a conventional TV channel, a non-linear media or another type of audiovisual organization.  There is no denying the need for a modern, reliable system that gives the end user control not only of the programming and distribution itself, but of all the processes related to it and the company itself. 

On the other hand, we also wanted to articulate a completely new system in the cloud that would simultaneously serve more than one organization, which is known as multi-tenant, and also have a highly extensible environment, customizable for each organization without incurring in development costs. In this sense, VSNCrea will continue to evolve to cover the management, distribution, monetization and analysis needs of any audiovisual organization.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing to consider when planning a product development?

Again, it is difficult to highlight just one aspect. It is a multidisciplinary process in which everyone participates, from the Product Manager, designers and UI specialists, developers, etc. Each step of the process is vital for a successful outcome. However, if the definition of the product does not provide the value that the client or end user needs, or is based on erroneous assumptions, everything else may be meaningless. Therefore, at VSN everything starts with a multidisciplinary process of discovery, ideation, validation and finally product development.

We are talking about a scientific, creative and research process, the necessary pillar for everything that comes after, including development, to be prosperous. Whenever we plan a new functionality, we carry out a product discovery process in which people from all disciplines are involved. It is research work, because we must ensure that the problem we want to solve, in addition to being aligned with the needs and trends that the market may demand; creative, because we always try to shape our solution in an innovative way, being disruptive when possible and moving away from dogmatism or pre-established considerations; and scientific, because there is no software development and programming without first having validated, tested and refined the idea based on data and empirical evidence.

How do you think VSN’s technology has evolved during your time here? And the company itself?

I believe that VSN has always invested its efforts in creating robust but disruptive technology. The company always tries to maintain a solid foundation from a technical and quality point of view, but one that allows the solutions to evolve towards the changing needs of the industry. In addition, it has undoubtedly invested a great deal of resources over the years in researching new technologies and how they can be applied to its products.

You were the youngest employee at VSN in your early days. If you could, what advice would you give to that version of yourself today?

To explore all possible training paths. To ask questions without shame when he has to, to learn through the experiences and opinions of his colleagues, to read and try to understand the foundations of everything he is going to work with. 

I believe that the most important thing we receive from all the experiences we have lived is what we learn, and what we can later teach to others. So what I would say to my past self, and even to my present self, is to make the most of all those learning possibilities, to squeeze them out without fear of being wrong.

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